Your Czar and the Mandarin spent a gloriously sunny day in not unscenic Bonfield, Illinois, taking in the Illinois State Rifle Associations open house. Nice event: everything from handguns to rifles to shotguns to muzzle loaders to archery…if it shoots, its here.
Your Czar was able to try out the new Remington M887 Nitromag 12-gauge shotgun. Remington was pushing these pretty heavily, touting its amazing features which included a synthetic skin that prevents corrosion and fouling, recoil reduction, and the ability to heal the sick from long ranges.
That sounds great, but does it feel good? The first thing the Czar noticed is that it feels surprisingly heavy, despite its comparatively lower weight. The forearm is quite thick to the palm, and that synthetic surface is actually a bit rough on the skin. The trigger actually scratches a bit into the finger pad, and the slide release requires you to dig around to find it. No, that doesnt sound like much, but trudging around for eight hours a day in a field shootin critters? You wont like it.
That sounds fair, but does it shoot well? Your Czar does not claim to be a great shot with a shotgun, but he missed all ten clays. The Mandarin winged one or two, but missed the rest; then, inscrutably, he figured out the trickdo not use the integrated sights. Simply let the muzzle eclipse the clay and pull the trigger. With this methoddecidedly unconventional and probably bad hunting form since you need to keep the weapon shouldered continuously and you literally have to take your eyes off the target to hit itthe Mandarin took after another ten clays, and popped eight of them easily. To be fair, the Mandarin usually can hit ten out of ten with a standard 870, so missing two is still concerning. Your Czar should be able to hit 7 or 8 but got none, so in all, this seemed like a heavy, plodding weapon.
To be fair, another shooter (whom we did not know and would probably not like to) was popping clays with ease using this beast, so it can be a valid shooter. But shooting ten or twenty clays is different than tracking through fields of pheasant for a day or two: good luck, especially trying to hit the slide release for your second shot (with gloves on? Not likely). That said, the recoil was much lighter that your usual 12 gauge: a good, solid thump…but not that crunching shock you get with other twelves. The Czar feels only a little tightness in his shoulder, and that is likely more from the Garand he fired later than the Remington.
Like? No. Hate? No…but stick to an 870 for dependability. Hey, Mandarin…what was that exotic rifle you were running around with?
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.